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16 August, 2013 17:41   ▪  

John O'Sullivan: Russia’s actions against Ukraine are signs for NATO and the West to re-open negotiations

Recent trade bans and “non-tariff barrier” Russia has imposed on Ukraine should make the West and NATO re-open negotiations with Ukraine, writes John O'Sullivan for the National Review

What Russia now uses agains Ukraine is “actually an old French trick for ensuring that less-expensive Japanese technology reached the French consumer in much smaller amounts than those exported from Japan.”

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“Ukrainian trucks carrying goods into Russia are now being stopped wholesale and searched minutely, resulting in long lines and long delays. The Russian customs and their political bosses don’t seem to be disguising their motives, moreover. This effective “non-tariff barrier” is being imposed on Ukraine in order to discourage the country from signing a free-trade deal with the European Union in November,” writes O'Sullivan.

He also mentions that “When Ukraine was hoping to join NATO and NATO seemed to be considering its application; the Russian line was that this was an intolerable provocation and a threat to Russian security. But Moscow would not object, it was subtly suggested, to Ukraine’s joining a peaceful commercial body such as the EU. Once NATO pushed Ukraine’s application into the long grass, though, a close relationship to the EU suddenly became another threat to Russian security. And now this.”

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Summing up the recent Putin’s foreign policy John O'Sullivan writes, that “The lesson for the West, then, is that NATO should re-open negotiations with Ukraine (and, for that matter, with Georgia). The main threat to security in Russia’s near-abroad is Moscow’s continuing neo-imperial attitude to its neighbors. This threatens Russia’s security in the long run too. And the West should be thinking of ways to draw Moscow further into the Euro-Atlantic institutions that Moscow plainly resents. But there is a price of admission for that too: finally becoming a normal country.”

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